it is probably safe to say that i have been in more than a few hotel rooms….but i do not feel like willy least, not yet….nevertheless, i have been in the best and the worst….this one in madrid is neither…a nice clean clear view of a brick wall is not as bad as you think….

first, no distractions if you are trying to edit….second, if you leave the window open to get some fresh air, a blast of wind will not blow your expense receipts all over the bed… and finally, you will not get mesmerized by the vista and get the most feared syndrome for all photographers, “room lockdown”…this room makes you want to go out and shoot!!!

i will meet susan meiselas tonight….she and cristina garcia rodero, donovan wylie and carl dekeyser have an opening exhibition tomorrow….i am anxious to see the show….i will report on this tomorrow…..i am wondering if their sponsors gave them a better room than mine…..well now, there is something to worry about!!!

24 thoughts on “room with a view”

  1. clive…well, somewhere between cloudy and shade…i mean, we could try to make “corrections” but where in hell lies “the truth”??? i think you have found it with the wind in your face out there on some winding road on your harley….i recommend shooting from the saddle of your duo glide with full on tungsten setting in bright sunlight….didn’t you see “easy rider”???? make it blue man, make it blue!!!! un abbraccio grande, david

  2. “michal…but wouldn’t that ruin the “warmth” of a room like this?? cheers,david”

    Well, any warmer and it’d be smoking hot. Anytime the “warmth” gets my eyes to water, figure the Tungsten setting may be worth a try. But what do I know, I’ve worked under Tungstens for only a quarter of a century.

  3. michal….

    any photograph that gets my eyes to water, i buy it!!!

    joking aside, certainly for your professional theater work, the lighting of the gaffer must be reproduced “correctly”…

    i do tend to shoot a bit warm for my work…and in black & white i always printed a little “too dark”…just a look i always liked pretty much based on goya and caravaggio….

    however, this room photo will not be in my archive!!! even with a “correct” tungsten setting, i doubt this picture would represent anything worth representing….should i delete or just keep trying???

    oh well, i am in the city of goya…think i will stroll on over to the prado….maybe something else will catch my eye and i will change my “style” forever!!

    peace, david

  4. David, enjoy the city of my all time favorite artist! I have been influenced by the the drawings of his nightmares, above all else.

    As far as what I would have wished for in this hotel room image — which will fade from my memory a lot faster than our discussion — is a touch of blue, from the outside. Tungsten setting would have given us precisely that, I believe.

    In any case, pleasure conversing with you!

  5. michal….

    ever since i started chatting with you i have had one tech problem right after another!!! having trouble posting, the air conditioner won’t come on and now it is too dark outside to “fix” this shot!!

    you are most certainly right about the touch of blue….and right about goya’s nightmares too…i just hope i will be able to sleep tonight…

    and it was a pleasure chatting with you michal….just do not look at my really really warm work from sicily!!! you will kill me!!

    peace, david

  6. David, not wishing to add one more to your latest nightmares, I have no idea how to see your Sicily work, given your name links to your email address instead of your website, at my end. Hope this is the last of your recent spate of curses!


  7. David:

    if you get to see Susan Meiselas, perhaps you can tell her that a guy from Chile (actually me)still remembers her contribution to my country, with “Chile from within”. i still remember most of the images presented in that project, that spoke of a dark period, using the power of photography (in fact the same hotel room you photographed, could have been an hotel room situated in some country under a dictatorial regime, and that would have mean a lot of diferent things).



    PD: thanks for your powerfull critique of my work. It really meant much to me.

  8. David: “…just do not look at my really really warm work from sicily!!! you will kill me!!”

    To which I replied that I haven’t seen it and such, well that was because I get you via RSS, and somehow missed that STUNNING Italy work of yours — within which the room image we have been discussing lately of course fits, PERFECTLY, screw the Tungsten setting!!

    Next time I’ll dig deeper before puking up my crap.


  9. michal…

    simply put, you are just one guy i have to meet someday!!! great exchange…many thanks…

    ciao, david

  10. I seem to remember a photographer who combined his hotel room window with a bunch of lemons and got the shot in National Geographic. Granted he did have a view of the Kremlin, not a brick wall, but with a fruitbowl and some creativity you never know.

    Your comments on hard work have helped me though preparing a large portfolio print (many evenings in front of computer). Its important to remember that its FOR something you enjoy, even if it is’nt fun just now.

    PS: Thankyou for signing my birthday presents in Jackson Hole before thanksgiving

  11. it’s clear, without hard work you’ve got nothin… without talent you’ve got nothin… well you might get off the starting blocks with a lot of one of them, but not far without both… that’s my thought… hell this post motivates me… and if i had a shrink sitting on the other side of the table, i’d say it depresses me, too.. simply b/c i know there is more i should be doing.. but i’m not here to whine.. i’m taking another step tonight… thanks david.

  12. Welcome to Spain, David. :-) A room is just a room. The feelings are what make the diference. And a photographer catches feelings, soul and life.



  13. thank you ana…..yes, that is exactly how i feel….you are welcome to come by efti for our student show on friday evening if you want….we will have a small fiesta…..david

  14. David

    Great photo. I love simply photos. like lee friedlander’s works. you are publish here such different works than i see on magnum web. it is really great. sometimes pictures like this is whole story.

    I’m in place without web connection now, and i have a lot of comments to read (I’m in inetrnetcafe now :)

    last time i comeplained that I have no job and nobody want my pictures. I don’t know how to say my boss who I work for now, that I have to leave to another job for a week! I hope he will not angry. I will shooting art festival in my city.

    Life is surprising sometimes.

    and question.

    Do you have one favorite photos?


  15. Hi David;

    You mentioned networking in one of your posts. I feel that for me, the networking I miss out on is with other photographers.

    Where I live I’m stuck out on a limb and I’m one of the only doing strictly editorial work. It would be great to be able to bounce ideas etc. off other people.

    I’ve found that the only way around this is to be my own harshest critic. Anyway, I think studying other photographer’s works (in books etc.) works well.

    As for your post about going fulltime; I’ve been doing magazine and photolibrary work semi fulltime for about the last 2 years. I have been doing 2 days a week part time at another job to ease the financial burden.

    That post of your’s was inspirational. Even though I’d made the decision to chuck the part time work in June/July, your post cristallized the decision.


  16. Hi David,

    Nice web presence, and what a great place to absorb and engage in discussion. I look forward to listening to the pros while I’m still chasing my first dime since going freelance.

    Best of luck,


    PS We worked together in San Miguel a couple of years ago on the NG catalog. I’ve got some nice working portraits of you!

  17. Thank you so much for the invitation, David. Will try to make it and be there on friday. Otherwise I will meet you for sure on sunday in VLC and will talk about all that soul and life…


  18. matter what , you do end up having to be your own harshest critic….for sure, it is ideal to be somehow around other like minded souls to help you think about things…and to have just one other person you really respect to help you edit….but, ultimately it all rests on your shoulders anyway….all of us get dealt a few good cards and a few bad ones….part of the “creativity” is in just playing your own hand….or , in racing sailing terms you must just “sail your own boat”….cheers, david

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